MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mountain Elgon National Park is located in the eastern Uganda at the boarder of Kenya and Uganda covering an area of 1145kms2 eat of Mbaale Town. This is not a usual national park; this is so different from other national parks in the country since its main attraction isn’t the wildlife species but the mountain. Though wildlife isn’t the main attraction doesn’t mean the park doesn’t have wild animals in fact the park is a home for buffalos, bushbucks, elephants, duikers and many other small primates, various rivers, rare plant species
From holding the 8th highest mountain position, it has the highest caldera in the whole world. The formation of this volcanic mountain left very rich fertile soils in the area around the park the Arabica coffee and bananas thrive on the slopes of the mountain and many crops grow well here. The main activity here is hiking to the top of the mountain visiting the waterfall (sipi0fall one of the most visited here
ACTIVITIES AT MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mountain climbing and hiking at Elgon National Park
Climbing Mountain Elgon in the park is far of advantageous than Mountain Rwenzori and Mountain Kilimanjaro. It is less expensive and with favorable temperature even at the summit of the mountain. The most unique thing about this mountain is not reaching the Wagagai peak but descending from the peak to spot the largest Caldera on earth
Climbing may take 4-6 days depending on the trail used, there are three main starting points. the salsa trail, Pisa trail, and the Sipi trail also known as the Buddukiro trailhead is a shorter trail but with very steep climbs. It starts from Mbaale town and take only 4days to reach the peak. Though it’s the most direct route, the trail passes through a thick forest of the Bamboo trees in the park. The second trail is the Pisa trail also known as the Kapkwata trailhead. This trail starts from a forest in Kapkwata and passes through podocarps forest. This is the longest7 days but with fewer steep areas. This trail gives a chance to see animals within the park, birds as well. The third trail is the Sipi trail starting from Kapkwai forest exploration center. It takes between 4-6 days to reach the peak
Hikers can also use the via Sipi trail and came out using Salsa trail to see more wildlife and waterfall plus hiking
People who are using the Kenyan rout as their descending destination are advised to make paperwork that allows them enter Kenya through offices in Mbaale town
Because hikers take long days in the way visitors are also given helpers like guides, cooks and give company in a way of hiring them
Bird watching at Mountain Elgon National Park
birds can be spotted in many areas in the park though many birds species may be rare in the thick trees, at Cheptui and Kapkwai birds are common, birds here include, Black-shouldered kit, Black, eastern bronze napped pigeon, chin-spot batis, African blue, Baglafecht weaver, Jackson’s francolin and lammergeyer, Hartlaub’s tuaco, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, ross’s and Hartlau
Exploring the Mount Elgon Caves
Exploring the caves at the park is so interesting because visitors get a chance of watching other animals from these different caves which are coming to hide, Nyero rock painting among the ancient caves give history of the place and many other ancients stories about the place
Following the various trail heads for those who are into in nature walks. Explore the flora and fauna of Mt. Elgon jungle, walking shoes, rain jackets and torch are recommended if you are to explore the Tutum cave in the extensive montane forest. Here, visitors get a chance of interacting with the people in the area, learn about the culture and the tradition of the Karamojong local people of the Sabiny, Bagisu who live at the slopes of the mountain Elgon and their cultural value like the Imbalu of the Bagisu, circumcision among the teen boys during the natural walks.
Spot fishing on Sipi River is done on a catch and release basis which is the same as catching releasing Nile Perch in Murchison falls park. Trout fishing is done at the top of the three water falls pouring into pool. Most travelers interested in sports fishing use the angling method to catch multiple fish but can also opt to use alternative methods with multiple hooks like longlining or commercial trolling. The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 protecting large area of forest.